Shangri-La will end Newport residential services for individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities on December 1, 2021. The closure includes two 24-hour residential programs and supported living services provided to individuals in their personal home. Thirteen individuals and 16 employees are affected by this closure. Shangri-La has been providing residential services in the Newport community for over 20 years.
For the past several years, ongoing staffing shortages and difficulty finding skilled, consistent, and dedicated program leadership have contributed to low employee morale and a decline in the quality of services provided to individuals served.
Furthermore, Shangri-La believes in services that meet and go beyond basic needs and help individuals live enriched and meaningful lives. Currently, Shangri-La does not feel it is consistently delivering this standard of service.
Despite the best efforts by many within the organization to remedy the situation and improve services over the past several months and years, Shangri-La believes these challenges are presently too great to overcome and that continuing services places individuals served at greater risk for health and safety issues.
"We have tried to course-correct many times. However, we believe we have come to a crossroads where we must decide if we want to continue to implement band-aids -- potentially at the risk of being in the same place 3-6 months from now -- and risking the health and safety of individuals served and employees or use the energy we have left to help transition the individuals affected by these programs closures to other providers. We are opting for the latter," explained Janey Yousey, Shangri-La's CEO.
"I do want to make one thing clear," added Yousey, "This closure is not related to financial difficulties and is not the result of Shangri-La’s license to provide services being revoked or suspended."
In the next few weeks, Shangri-La will work with the Lincoln County Developmental Disability Program’s service coordinators to support transition plans for individuals affected. Some individuals may work with their service coordinator to fill vacancies in Shangri-La’s Salem-Keizer residential programs.
"This decision was tough. It's not just the closure of a program. It's the closure of someone's home," said Tiffani Olsen, IDD/APD Residential Director.
"This decision was tough. It's not just the closure of a program. It's the closure of someone's home," said Tiffani Olsen, IDD/APD Residential Director. "We have served some of these individuals for many years. It's not going to be easy to say goodbye. We are going to do all that we can in these final days of services by helping them transition to a new provider with positivity and compassion."
As of now, Shangri-La will continue to provide employment services to job seekers with disabilities in Lincoln County. These services will continue to be offered out of Shangri-La's office on 10th Street in Newport.
Presently, Shangri-La does not have plans to close additional residential programs for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities or complex mental illness. However, Shangri-La's leadership is actively monitoring the stability of remaining residential programs, paying close attention to the health and safety of individuals served.
"We are far overcoming the workforce shortage and are still managing the daily impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Yousey about the road ahead. "We are optimistic that we can continue to stabilize our workforce and get back to consistently providing the high-quality, person-centered support we aim to provide. But, honestly, only time will tell. In the meantime, I want to thank the many staff who have continuously sought to make these programs thrive while actively working to put smiles on the faces of the people around them. I know you have given your best.”
Questions can be directed to CEO Janet Yousey at 503-581-1732, x350 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.